Untangling the memorandum knots – Greek reform proposals

knotsThe Greek government has submitted a comprehensive set of proposals to its European and official sector partners. The proposal outlines the reforms and legislative projects that will be undertaken by the Government of Greece under the terms of the February 20, 2015 extension agreement with partners. It is presented to Greece’s European partners as a step towards completion of the Final Review of the present arrangement.The document makes a pointed observation at the start:

The question before us all, as Europeans, is whether the European Union can rise to the challenge before it. It is necessary now, without further delay to  turn a corner on the mistakes of the past and to forge a new relationship between member states, a relationship based on solidarity, resolve, mutual respect and a new hope for common progress. To that end, it is now urgent that the books be closed on the past programme with the rapid conclusion of the Final Review, so that Greece and her partners can proceed to negotiate and to launch a new partnership and a new model for development and growth in Greece.

The document includes €1.1bn in fresh spending this year, more than half of it reinstating a so-called “13th pension” — an extra month’s pay — for low-income pensioners. The document suggests that change would add €600m this year.

It also would suspend a so-called “zero deficit clause” that would force more cuts to state pensions; the measure would add another €326m this year.

The document includes five separate measures under the heading “labour market reforms”, including a gradual increase in the minimum wage and strengthening collective bargaining — both measures would undo reforms adopted earlier in the “rescue programme” agreed to by the former governments.

The full text of the document submitted by the Greek government can be found here Greek Reform Proposals April 2015

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